I spent the first editions of this column preaching long-term vision and patience. Unlike football, baseball, and its fantasy appendage, is a marathon of a season. You’ll burn out from the whiplash of a given season if you’re constantly reacting to slight fluctuation in player outlooks.

Well, it’s time to throw that all out the window.

There are generally 26 weeks in a fantasy baseball season (that’s how I track it, at least). We are in week 16, giving us about ten left. Now is the time to enter sprint mode and throw whatever you can against the wall to climb standings boards.

The best way to do this is to look at the juiciest schedules for the upcoming week and see what streaming options are available, just sitting on your waiver wire like those public poop bags at the dog park. You mean I can have as many of these as I want for free?

Here are my seven favorite team schedules next week for hitters, ranked in preference:

  1. Red Sox – Three on the road Oakland against the atrocious Athletics pitching, then three at home in extremely hitter-friendly Fenway against the Mets.
  2. Astros – In Coors for two games then visiting those terrible Athletics for four. Poor Oakland fans.
  3. Reds – Seven home games in Great American Smallpark. Opponents don’t even matter when you get a whole week of Reds in Cincy.
  4. Cubs – Seven home games in Wrigley with a week of warm weather and blowing lake-bound winds while facing two division dwellers, the Nats (three games) and Cards (four games).
  5. Giants – A trip to Cincy for four and then three in hitter-pleasing DC during a warm July week.
  6. Nationals – See the Cubs and Giants blurbs above – three games against each.
  7. Rockies – Home for a series with the Astros for two games before heading to Miami to face a Eury-free Marlins for three games.

For streaming pitching, it’s pretty simple: find a list of two-start pitchers. After that, you just have to try to focus on facing the worst offenses. It is July, the ball will be flying, so you will take some lumps from poor outings no matter how you approach.

With those principles in mind, let’s see what we can put together with highly available dudes…

The stats and ownership percentages below are updated as of noon central time on 7/15.

As always, if you want advice on specific roster decisions you might have, feel free to leave a comment. You can also find me on twitter (@mcouill7).


10/12 Team Adds

Yainer Diaz (HOU, 36% CBS Ownership) – Look, I know that Yordan Alvarez is on his way back, but there’s no way a guy with a 13.6% barrel rate and .568 xSLG is going to be losing many at-bats. It doesn’t take much playing time to be a great catcher option in fantasy because even the best only play 5-6 times a week and get nicked up. (3-5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Alejandro Kirk (TOR, 45% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Yasmani Grandal (CHW, 44% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Keibert Ruiz (WSN, 42% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Gabriel Moreno (ARI, 32% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Patrick Bailey (SFG, 31% CBS Ownership, 3-5% FAAB), Danny Jansen (TOR, 30% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Bo Naylor (CLE, 23% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Blake Sabol (C/OF, SFG, 17% CBS Ownership) – Here’s another catcher with a 13% barrel rate (13.3, to be exact) just widely available for the taking while getting to hit in Cincinnati and Washington D.C. in July. If you are struggling at catcher even in a shallower league (12-teamer), Sabol should warrant streaming consideration as he should add to his current ten homers on the season. (3-5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Mitch Garver (TEX, 17% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Christian Bethancourt (TBR, 15% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Yan Gomes (CHC, 16% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Connor Wong (BOS, 7% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Matt Thaiss (LAA, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jake Rogers (DET, 4% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Luis Garcia (2B/SS, WSN, 31% CBS Ownership) – Garcia loves putting the bat on the ball and in play, as evidenced by his 97th percentile ranking in K%. He also just has a sweet stroke that can spray the ball all of the field (check that Statcast spray chart in the link – it’s Luis Arraez-level impressive). Those qualities play well and start shooting balls into gaps during the warmer summer times like this upcoming week in Chicago and DC. (3-5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Harold Ramirez (1B/OF, TBR, 50% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Brett Baty (3B, NYM, 46% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), CJ Abrams (SS, WSN, 46% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Maikel Garcia (3B/SS, KCR, 45% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Rowdy Tellez (1B, MIL, 42% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Triston Casas (1B, BOS, 38% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Carlos Santana (1B, PIT, 37% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Mauricio Dubon (2B/SS/OF, HOU, 33% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Zach Neto (SS, LAA, 27% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Garrett Cooper (1B, MIA, 25% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Ronny Mauricio (SS, NYM, 25% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Wilmer Flores (1B/2B/3B, SFG, 11% CBS Ownership) – Flores’ playing time can still be a little dicey, but he’s on a scorching seven-game hit streak over which he has slashed .480/.519/.560, good for a 203 wRC+. If your infield corps are thin, Flores can cover lots of spots, and you can do worse than rolling the dice on seven games split between Cincinnati and Washington. (1-3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Zach McKinstry (2B/3B/OF, DET, 19% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Edouard Julien (2B, MIN, 19% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Chris Taylor (2B/3B/SS/OF, LAD, 19% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Zack Gelof (2B, OAK, 15% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Colt Keith (3B, DET, 15% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Jonathan Aranda (2B, TBR, 13% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Brandon Belt (1B, TOR, 8% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Ramon Urias (1B/2B/3B, BAL, 7% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Andy Ibanez (2B/3B/OF, DET, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Dominic Smith (1B, WSN, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Donovan Solano (1B/2B/3B, MIN, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jordan Diaz (2B, OAK, 3% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Harold Castro (1B/2B/3B/OF, COL, 2% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Michael Toglia (1B/OF, COL, 3% CBS Ownership) – Guess who’s back? Back again. Toglia was officially recalled from Triple-A again on Friday. If Nolan Jones struggles for corner/DH playing time, no way Toglia gets any of that right? You, C.A., and I know that no one has no clue what Bud Black is gonna do. If you have an open spot on an NL-only, you can do worse than taking a stab at Toglia and seeing if any playing time opens up. (1% FAAB)

Christian Arroyo (2B, BOS, 3% CBS Ownership) – Despite the Red Sox declaring they would use Yu Chang as a starting shortstop, he was already benched again in favor of Arroyo. Chang is now 597 plate appearances deep into a 73 wRC+ career that is destined to generate one of the lowest percentages in your Immaculate Grid but qualify in so many spots. Arroyo only needs to maintain his .259/.291/.401 line to keep a lineup spot and reap the benefits of that Red Sox number one ranking above. (1-3% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Corey Julks (HOU, 44% CBS Ownership) – This is admittedly a very short-term play as Yordan Alvarez’s pending return probably wipes out all of Julks’ 12-team value. But on the other hand, the Astros are in the thick of a playoff race trying to chase down the Rangers, looking to do whatever it takes to win. Since June 15, Julks has a .353/.443/.471 slash with a 162 wRC+ and five steals. Yeah, they might want to keep that around their lineup in some capacity. Add in the trip to Oakland with their lefty-heavy starting staff, Julks might have quite the week planned for the swan song for his full-time at-bats. (3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Mike Yastrzemski (SFG, 51% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Tommy Pham (OF, NYM, 37% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Brent Rooker (OAK, 41% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Brandon Marsh (PHI, 32% CBS Ownership Rate, 1% FAAB), Jose Siri (TBR, 26% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Alex Kirilloff (1B/OF, MIN, 25% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Will Benson (CIN, 21% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Jurickson Profar (COL, 19% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Chas McCormick (HOU, 15% CBS Ownership) – McCormick is the other loser of playing time in Houston with the eventual Alvarez return, as it should push him and Julks into a timeshare for one lineup spot. Just like Julks, McCormick has been out-of-his-mind hot since June 15 with a .338/.423/.544 line, good for a 172 wRC+, with five steals of his own. During that time, he hasn’t hit lower than fifth in the order. Yordan ain’t coming back this week, so enjoy the free production in Colorado in Oakland. (3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Nick Pratto (1B/OF, KCR, 17% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), David Peralta (LAD, 16% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Alek Thomas (ARI, 15% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jesus Sanchez (MIA, 14% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Randal Grichuk (COL, 14% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Kerry Carpenter (DET, 13% CBS Ownership, 3-5% FAAB), Ryan O’Hearn (1B/OF, BAL, 12% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Will Brennan (CLE, 11% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Brenton Doyle (COL, 8% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Matt Vierling (DET, 8% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Drew Waters (KCR, 7% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Akil Baddoo (DET, 4% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Johan Rojas (PHI, 4% CBS Ownership) – The Phillies made a bit of a surprise move when Cristian Pache (elbow) hit the IL in calling up Rojas straight from Double-A. Rojas was slashing .306/.361/.484 with a 130 wRC+ and 30 steals in Reading. Those steals are what you need to be salivating over, and he showed those wheels on Saturday in his 3-for-7 day with a steal in the doubleheader with the Padres. Rojas should occupy a short-side platoon role but will see plenty of action as a defensive sub and pinch runner, so he could be a valuable source of speed rest of season. (3-5% FAAB)

Lawrence Butler (OAK, 2% CBS Ownership) – After the Athletics called up Zach Gelof and Tyler Soderstrom this week, Butler remains the last young interesting name on the Oakland 40-man roster still in the minors. Butler has hit .291/.358/.479 with 11 homers and 15 steals across AA and AAA this year. Being a left-handed bat, he would get a strong side of a platoon, at minimum, in Oakland after they clear a few of the veteran MLB bats out at the deadline for peanuts. (1-3% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Michael Lorenzen (DET, 40% CBS Ownership) – This spot is going to be perpetually occupied by two types of pitchers from now until the end of the year: 1) Guy with a two-start and favorable matchups or 2) Decent pitcher that is facing a weak AL Central opponent in a good-to-decent park. Lorenzen is the latter and has a start in Kansas City on Thursday. (3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: JP Sears (OAK, 44% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Griffin Canning (LAA, 44% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Tommy Henry (ARI, 45% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Clarke Schmidt (NYY, 41% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Matt Manning (DET, 31% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Rich Hill (PIT, 29% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Graham Ashcraft (CIN, 27% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Ben Lively (CIN, 25% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Reese Olson (DET, 24% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Cristopher Sanchez (PHI, 24% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Paul Blackburn (OAK, 14% CBS Ownership) – Look, I know that the Red Sox and Astros were highlighted above as great lineups to target because the Athletics pitching stinks worse than the city garbage truck juice puddling in the alley. But Blackburn gets two starts at home and still sports a 9.8 K/9 that comes with a 24.1% K-rate. He’s a sneaky path to a possible double-digit strikeout posting in a weekly league. (1-3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Kolby Allard (ATL, 21% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Kutter Crawford (OAK, 16% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Jose Quintana (NYM, 16% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Quinn Priester (PIT, 13% CBS Ownership, 3-5% FAAB), Brandon Bielak (HOU, 12% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR, 12% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Ross Stripling (SFG, 11% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Daniel Lynch (KCR, 9% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Cole Irvin (BAL, 9% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Adrian Houser (MIL, 7% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Paul Skenes (PIT, null CBS Ownership) – Is the number one pick on your wire yet? For most fantasy sites (CBS, ESPN, ottoneu), it seems that the player needs to officially sign a contract to be entered into the player pool. In the Fantrax leagues I’m in, that doesn’t seem to be the case – Skenes was available even in college in one league. But now is the time to just take two seconds and search for his name in your league. If he’s not available, just make the mental note to pay attention to when he signs and run to the wire if you have a fastest-finger process. There’s a non-zero chance Skenes throws some innings this year, and if you are in a league deep enough to be reading here, that’s a chance I would take over rostering any Rockies starter. (1% FAAB)

Luis Medina (OAK, 4% CBS Ownership) – Lord have mercy if you go this route but take the blurb for Blackburn above and apply it to Medina and his 8.8 K/9 and 21.5% K-rate and upcoming two-start week. He has been a little better of late with a 4.06 FIP over his last 20.1 innings spread over four starts. But this option isn’t for the faint of heart or those in close ERA/WHIP category battles. (1% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Hunter Harvey (WSN, 38% CBS Ownership) – *grabs your shoulders, shakes you furiously* Listen, what do you want? Saves?!?! Take my saves while you can! (3-5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Andres Munoz (SEA, 43% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Aroldis Chapman (TEX, 42% CBS Ownership, 3-5% FAAB), Adbert Alzolay (CHC, 34% CBS Ownership, 3-5% FAAB), Michael King (NYY, 31% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Kendall Graveman (CHW, 27% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Bryan Abreu (HOU, 26% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Daniel Bard (COL, 22% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Brusdar Graterol (LAD, 21% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Trevor May (OAK, 11% CBS Ownership) – I swear to God, take these saves. In contrast to the fallow periods when I’ve spilled ink here speculating on possible save situations, casting aspersions into the universe speculating on injuries, here is a closer doing the saves right now (for like two more weeks). (1-3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Justin Lawrence (COL, 19% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Erik Swanson (TOR, 18% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Tanner Scott (MIA, 17% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Joel Payamps (MIL, 16% CBS Ownership Rate, 1-3% FAAB), Mark Leiter Jr. (CHC, 12% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Tyler Rogers (SFG, 11% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Matt Brash (SEA, 8% CBS Ownership 1% FAAB), Tommy Kahnle (NYY, 6% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Trevor Stephan (CLE, 6% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jason Foley (DET, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Chris Martin (BOS, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Griffin Jax (MIN, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Carlos Hernandez (KCR, 2% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Hurston Waldrep (ATL, null CBS Ownership) – Oh hey, it’s me again with more non-existent, just drafted players to suggest. See the Paul Skenes blurb above and copy the league availability info here. Except I honestly think the chances are higher the Braves bring up their first round pick (24th overall) and his otherworldly, low-spin splitter this year. That pitch would play perfectly in a bullpen role, and the Braves have shown no hesitation in pulling any and all talent to the majors, no matter the age. (1-3% FAAB)

Gregory Santos (CHW, 1% CBS Ownership) – The White Sox should be gutting the backend of their bullpen at the deadline as Kendall Graveman, Joe Kelly, Kenyan Middleton, and maybe even Reynaldo Lopez will have new teams in August. Mix in the troublesome Liam Hendriks elbow injury, and it’s not hard to see Santos and his 2.76 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 8.7 K/9 ending up in the Sox closer’s seat. (1-3% FAAB)